Zü?ürt A?a is a Turkish comedy-drama film written by Yavuz Turgul and directed by Nesli Çölgeçen. Main characters of the movie are the Agha, the Agha’s wife, Kiraz and Kekeç Salman. The movie is basically about the collapse of feudalism. In the movie, the Agha is the landlord of the village Haraptar. The village Haraptar has been arid for a few years, so the Agha’s grain harvest has been hit by drought. One day the Agha’s father starts to want to get married / get a co-wife and the one he wants to marry is a young lady Kiraz. On the wedding night the Agha’s father dies, and the Agha’s sharecroppers/peasants, who have been provoked to steal the Agha’s crops by Kekeç Salman for a while, steal the crops and run away to ?stanbul. He realizes that he cannot do anything without his sharecroppers and the crops and that he also has to leave his village and move to ?stanbul. Unfortunately, things do not go well as he thinks. He cannot keep pace with the city life and spends all of his money, then he sells his belongings. With the Agha’s downfall, his wife leaves him taking their children with her. At last, he only has Kiraz and his mother with him. He starts over and sells raw meatballs, which is the best thing he can do. Firstly, in the movie, there are reflections of Marx’s theory of class. We need to first explain what Marx’s theory of class is about. According to Marx, the basis of economic differences hence social classes is the relations of production. There are two great classes all through the history: the dominant class who owns the means of production and the subordinate class who sells their labor power such as slave owners and slaves, landlords and serfs, bourgeoisie and proletariat. We may say that there is a feudal system in the movie. The Agha can be considered as the landlord, who owns the lands of the village, and the sharecroppers or peasants can be considered as the serfs, who sell their labor power. The peasants are owned by the Agha and they work for him. In the scene where Kekeç Salman tries to provoke them to steal the Agha’s crops and run away to ?stanbul, some of the peasants oppose him saying they are the properties of the Agha and they cannot run away without his permission. This shows clearly that they are subordinated. Besides that, they are continuously exploited by working for him without reaching any degree of prosperity. Secondly, there are also reflections of Weber’s concept of status in the movie. Status refers to the differences between social groups in the social honor or prestige they are accorded by others. In other words, it means simply the social honor or prestige that are attributed to the individuals by the others. The social honor or prestige is about lifestyle, dressing, behaviours, gestures, language, etc. During the movie, it can be seen that the lifestyle, behaviors and gestures of the Agha are different from the peasants. He does not work, he acts like a patron or a leader. His behaviours are dominant. He acts unlike his peasants. His peasants see him as a strong figure who knows the best for them. On the other hand, the peasants’ characters are subordinate and submissive. Thus, they attribute the traits that they do not have to their Agha. In conclusion, the movie Zü?ürt A?a has certain elements that can be explained with the concept of status and the theory of class finely. The movie is a good example in terms of showing feudalism, owning the means of production, class differences and social status.
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